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water >> hello. i am stephanie sy. it's saturday, august 24th. these are some of the stories we are following at this hour. the huge wildfire threatening yosemite national park is threatening something much bigger: san francisco's power grid. that has prompted the governor of california to prompt a state of emergency. >> the suspected chemical weapons attack, asp president obama considers whether to use force in the civil war. i have a dream. my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colors
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of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream today. >> 50 years after martin luther king's most famous speech, americans descend on the nation's capitol to keep his dream alive. the wildfire raging in yosemite national park is threatening to leave san francisco in the dark. the part of the park that's burning is about 200 miles east of the city, but california's governor jar brown declared a state of emergency. the flames have started moving toward the transmission lines that feed electricity to san francisco. some of those lines have already been taken offline. so far, however, there have been
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no reports of power outages. melissa chan is joining us by phone in groveland, california, which is near the fires. melissa, what is the latest that you are hearing on the ground? >> well, the city of san francisco, a state of emergency, this is also the second time that the city has been involved. on thursday, the city expressed concerns the forfeiter might affect power and communications and had already declared a state of emergency. the latest development is that the governor has also stepped in to make that declaratiodeclarat that might seem a little redundant but the emphasis is important because as you mentioned, it would affect the power supply and power lines and two hydro e will lectric plants had to shut down as a result. it means the government is very concerned and by declaring the state of emergency, they hope to expedite bringing more resources to work on the situation here. >> that makes sense. what is the state of the fire at this point? is it still burning out of
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control? reporter: well, the latest came out a couple of hours ago. the containment level has gone from 2% to 5%. >> that's very modest, but i suppose any incremental improvement is good at this point. right now, 125,000 acres have been destroyed. >> that's up from 105,000 earlier since, well, frankly, earlier on friday morning rather. and we know that another 600 firefighter and rescue workers arrived on friday and the cost has gone up in last 12 hours. the cost of this fire, costing 5 million this morning up to 7.8 million by evening. >> melissa, i understand the fire has doubled in size again in the last 24 hours and that it's in the perimeter of the national park at this point. is it burning near homes? are we expecting more evacuations? reporter: well, mandatory
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evacuations started around thursday afternoon in some parts. and we visited the evacuation center and they told us they do expect to see more people arriving. but at the moment, the number of structures remains at 4500. that was the number that was given about 12, 14 hours ago and they have not changed that. so, hopefully that means that they are making some headway with this fire with the extra relief and help they are getting. >> all right. for now, 5% contained. all right, al-jazeera melissa chan joining us. thank you so much. now to the escalating tensions in syria. according to defense secretary chuck hagel, president obama has asked the pentagon for military options. the president plans to meet with his national security advisors at the whitehouse this weekend. hagle also suggested u.s. war ships are being repositioned in the mediterranean in the event
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the president orders the use of force. also this morning, there are appalling new pictures from syria, images taken soon after the alleged chemical weapons attack. we want to warn you that these pictures are extremely graphic. charles stratford has a report from syria. >> there seems little doubt that some sort of chemical weapon killed these people. this video was shot by an independent journalist for britain's itv news. victims lie where they fell, men and women, some with their children at their side, their faces contorted in pain, frozen in the agonizing moment did they died. whatever killed these people killed indiscriminately. a cat, a flock of sheep, and only feet away, a small crater and exploded metal, evidence witnesses say of one of the missiles that delivered whatever ended these people's lives. >> it was a small explosion. when we went down to see what's going on, we smelled a strange
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odor. people said we need to go upstairs because there was a chemical gas. then, intensive shelling started. i fell unconscious on the stairs. i was given some injections in addition to oxygen and eye drops. the next morning, we discovered all families dead in their homes. i just opened the door and saw the whole family killed with foam in their mouth, with blood in their ears, adults tried resist that, but the children died immediately. this witness described how some people scrambled to escape. >> people heard the mosques telling everyone to go to the higher floors but the people here didn't understand. they were discovered dead by the rescue teams. >> another witness points to what he says is the remains of one of 12 missiles that fell on the area. he says the explosions were not loud, so people initially thought the attack was some distance away. the syrian government has denied it used chemical weapons but it has also refused a team of u.n.
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chemical weapons, access to the site. opposition activists say a number of people who gave medical help to victims have subsequently died t chemical weapons experts say that evidence such as this could point to the possible use after nerve agent. >> by looking at the videos, you can tell some of the victims are suffering from asphyxiation. they don't have any external wounds. so it's consistent with the use of a chemical agent but unless somebody can go in and get samples, it will be very difficult to say exactly what happened. >> the longer the u.n. inspect orders are kept out, the harder it will be to gather evidence and prove exactly what killed these people and who was responsible for the attack. charles stratford. mark keegan provides some insight into the white house's concerns. >> if chemical weapons were in fact used by the syrian government as the president indicated, that several -- at least several red lines have
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been crossed and that the u.s. is taking note of it. what that actually means, in the short-term and the long-term, need to be seen, but again, it's something that is something that can be done. but it may not be all that significant, or it may be a lot of noise signifying nothing in the end because we are talking about a president and administration that really, really does not want to get involved in the syrian conflict. without seeing more evidence, i would say from everything that i have heard about it and from the pictures, themselves, it would tend to indicate that chemical weapons were used, but more evidence needs to be gathered and processed. i mean, on the surface, it looks like chemical weapon was used. a united nations inspection team is in damascus to investigate smareports of small
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attacks but they have not been allowed to look into the latest alleged attack. in lebanon, car bombs exploded outside two mosque did. forty-two people were killed and more than 500 injured in the blast. it happened friday in the coastal city of tripoli as worshippers were leaving mosques. al-jazeera dana zudar has more. >> they finished friday prayers. then panic struck. security cameras caught the explosion. two one of two mosques. theplosions were minutes apart. dozens of people were killed and injured. there was no claim of responsibility, but officials say the attacks had one objective: to create sectarian strife in lebanon. tripoli is predominantly sunni and many people are supporters of the opposition. >> this is the work of the
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syrian government. they targeted us. they gave a message to the sunnis in the north. but we won't be threatened. we will retaliate. >> it is a dangerous time for lebanon. these bombings are seen as an attack against sunnis. last week, a powerful explosion killed civilians and has a strong hold in beirut. s hezbollah is fighting. this is a country polarized by the syrian war. and tripoli is a volatile city. those opposing have engaged in gun battles many times in the past. it is a time of heightened tensions. the blasts were not unexpected. a few days ago, the lebanese army stepped up security across the country. it said it was fighting what it called a total war against terrorists who are trying to start a sectarian war. >> this is a result of the syrian conflict between the al-assad regime and the syrian
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rebels. i feel it has leaked over into lebanon, mainly the north and the south reporter>> lebanese leaders believes those behind the blasts responsible for the bombing in beirut's southern suburbs. they are trying to play down tensions but there is no doubt lebanon security is at risk. the sentencing phase of the trial begins monday for majoro nadal hassan. a military jury found him guilty much can iing -- killing 13 fellow soldiers in 2009. he admitted to the murders in court and had no reaction on friday when the guilty verdict was rent the jury will decide if he will be executed for his crimes or spend the rest of his life in prison. another military man also learned his fate, staff sergeant robert bales, responsible for killing 15 afghan civilians last year will serve life in prison with no possibility of pair
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he'll. he opened fire on men, women and children. some felt the punishment was not harsh enough. al-jazeera alan schoffler has more. >> the panel deliberatiated 90 minutes. life in prison for no chance of parole for sergeant robert bales who has confessed to killing 16 civilians. he showed no visible response for the division. for the afghans flown here as prosecution witnesses, the harshest sentence was not harsh enough. >> they might release him. they might let him go. they might have other issues we are never going to find out. >> our wishes were that he gets a death sentence. we didn't get our wish. >> haji wazer lost 11 family members >> if somebody jumps in your
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house and kills 11 members of your family and tries to burn them, what sort of punishment would you pass on? >> defense attorney emma scanned lin quoted a chaplain who said he was a member of a ptsd support group. i am not asking you to set him free, she told the jury. i am asking you to confine him for life but to reserve that one piece of it for a later day that. one piece, the chance of parole. in his closing statement, the army prosecute called bales a cold-blooded killer who in a matter of hours wiped out generations. and he said there was only one appropriate sentence: a sentence reserved for the worst crimes and the worst criminals. at the press conference after the sentencing, a 12 or 13-year-old boy was brought forward to show scars of bales' attacks, deep scars. his father said children in his country now run when they see americans coming. >> sending people to afghanistan or any other place for
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rebuilding, try to send the right people, not maniac s & p schios like that's. >> it was called disappointing but not surprising and said their win came when the death penalty was taken out of play. joint base lewis mccord, takoma, washington. >> 50 years after martin luther king's historic speech on washington. to take stock of how much has changed. we have clericaler weather for the northeast and mid addlantic but the rain continues to be very heavy for certain parts of the states. i will show you where coming up next.
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mission. >> there's more to america, more stories, more voices, more points of view. now there's are news channel with more of what americans want to know. >> i'm ali velshi and this is "real money." this is "america tonight." sglovrjs our
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-- >> our news coverage reveal more of america's stories. the political scandal that has gripped los angeles says filner's trouble, far from over. >> the ag's office won't specify charges but that an investgation is ongoing. meanwhile, city officials here in san diego say they are ready to put the civic nightmare behind them. the city council unanimously approved a resolution in which bob filner resigned effective
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august 30th. under the terms of the deal, the city will pay for his legal defense with regard to claims by current and former city employees. however, the city can seek reimbursement from filner from any damages arising from the mayor's alleged sexual harassment conduct. in addition, the city has put a cap of $98,000 for any outside legal counsel that bob filner may seek. during today's meeting, the mayor got up and addressed the crowd. at times, he was emotional. at other times, he was defiant. >> the mayor also apologized to his victims. he apologized to taxpayers, to the residents, and the city of san diego. at this point now, counsel president todd gloria becomes interim mayor and a special election will be held within 90 days. in san diego stephanie stanton, al-jazeera. mexican authorities have now confirmed that at least five
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bodies found in a mass grave are the remains of a group of kidnapping victim. 12 people were taken from a bar back in may, and they were never heard from again. al-jazeera adam raney reports from musk co city. >> the bodies were discovered in a mass graph grave in a park about an hour and a half from mexico city. authorities ordered forensics to establish identify at this. it's the first major breakthrough in a case that has angered victim's families for months. the inn may, the victims were taken from the club in the middle of the day, despite catching images of the kidnappers on surveillance cameras, investigators had few leads. family members and the public at large have criticized the mayor and authorities for not doing enough to solve the case. the bodies were only uncovered when federal authorities, not investigators from mechanic co city, came to the park looking for a stash of weapons. for years, mexico city has been seen as an o assess of safety
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while a drug war raged across much of the rest of the country. since the kidnapping one of the club's ownerss was arrested. four other people have been arrested. there are remnants from a candlelig candlelight vigil and despite advances in investigation, there are still many unanswered questions. perhaps primarily why they were even targeted in the first place. prosecutors say the haven't i see were caught up in a dispute between drugs between rival street gauges from a dangerous at a time gang in mexico city. most lived in a neighborhood called topito and say they were not involved in crime and an investigation could have been more thorough. >> some people hearsay just let it go, but we are human beings and we have rights to justice, too. >> from my point of view, authorities are doing as much as thing. they are not magicians. i have seen they have been doing what thing. and a lot of time has gone by
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already. >> reporter: family members waited for months for the news of their loved ones. this may offer them some sort of closure but it's not the news they were hoping for. adam rainy, al-jazeera, mexico city. >> hello. i am meteorologist rebecca stevenson. we are starting with more rain showers from the southwest over toward the midwest. the humidity is creeping up, but the good news is, we are not going to get the humidity for the northeast. this is one area that we are seeing showers move out. we are clearing out and cooling down just a little. so it's going to be a very nice day in the northeast and the mid atlantic for that matter. cleveland only hitting 73 degrees today. in new york and boston will mainly be low to mid-80s. pretty comfortable outside. as we look at the new york forecast when we get through the weekend, we are not looking for much rain right now. we've got this nice little dry stretch. as we move farther south, it's a
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different story, especially around florida, georgia, south carolina. overnight, we have been seeing flash flood warnings for a lot of these areas as the rain is coming on very heavily. we will expect that to continue off and on with showers and thunderstorms becoming a little more scattered as we get toward sunday. the temperatures mainly in the 80s to low 90s and in texas, we'll also be in the 90s. it will be hot but chance of a shower, but most of the wet weather from the southwest from topical storm evo. we are going to see the storm bring more moisture and thunderstorms into the southwest, tracking up towards the midwest. it's going to start getting hot, too, for minnesota as that humidity moves in. it is going to feel pretty uncomfortable but typical temperatures for the southwest. rain as well, but watch out for the thunderstorms because they could peek out. minneapolis, around 87. we will see how the clouds clear out. even if you are in the 80s, it
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will be uncomfortable from the humidity. >> rebecca, thank you. 50 years later, and still realizing the dream. remembering martin luther king, jr.'s famous march on washington and reflecting on just how far the country has come.
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i have a dream. my 4 little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. i have a dream today.
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[applause.] >> neck week marks the 50th anniversary of martin luther king's "i have a dream" speech. during the historic civil rights march on washington, an african american president but the country has a long way to go. one of president obama's mentors, charles ogletree reflects how far we have come as a nation >> the march on washington happened in 1963. i was jut 10 years old then. my parents were very keen in watching it and trying to understand on the black and white t.v. what this meant. who was doctor king? talking about jobs, talking about freedom. it was a great event, and now, 50 years later, where are we? i think dr. king gave us the plan. now it's up to us to complement it. where are we in the year 2013, looking back at dr. king's dream in 1963. and i have to say quite honestly is that it's, in some sense, the
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best of times and the worst of times. we have not made the progress that i expected us to make in the 50 years. if you think about it, some of the very same things that king talked about in 1963 are now issues with san francisco americans and america in the year 2013. they were marching for jobs 50 years ago. now, they are march to go get a job in the 21st century because they are qualified to do it but they can't find work. dr. king told us in this speech the negro lives in this vast land of it poverty around prosperity. in a sense, it tells us we had a major problem in 1963. you know in 2013, it hasn't changed. when we look at the divide between the black haves and the black have-nots, at the tells us we are going the wrong direction. we have more than 2 million people in jail in the 21st century and over a million are african-americans. it tells us we have moved
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backwards. we don't think about treatment. we don't think about ways of rehabilitation. the number one cause of death is not disease. it's not some kind of illness. it's homicide, killing each other. so the battle is still on. we do have an african-american president elected for the second time. >> that's progress. when president obama was elected in november, 2008, the world cry would, worshipped, celebrated. it was just a glorious moment. and to see him elected with the sense of, yes, we can, the sense of hope, all those were themes that made people really embrace him and embrace the country. and i expect that president obama will not be the last african-american president elected. i think he is the first, but he is not the last. when you think about looking back 50 years from now, 263, i won't be around but my granddaughters will be around. and i think they are going to be living in a society where they
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think there is more equality and justice and opportunity without regard to your color, without regard to your class. doors are opening. opportunities are opening. we see black ceo did. we see blacks in business. we see blacks running universities. the reality is that blacks are catching up with whites, and it's going to continue. i am very optimistic about the next 50 years. >> the festivities will get underway later this morning with a march and a rally that will extend throughout the day and you can keep it here at al-jazeera for comprehensive coverage. i am stephanie sy. thank for watching. you can stay up to date on our website, aljazeera.com. next, real money with al ali velshi. we are back with another news update at 4:00.
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Al Jazeera America August 24, 2013 2:00am-2:31am EDT

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